Norwegian Energy Market Trader Creates €114 Million Hole in Nasdaq Clearing Fund

In Norway, electricity currents are mostly generated from hydropower, the backbone of its industrial system. 

Until this week, Einar Aas was one of Norway’s wealthiest men, but now the 47-year old trader looks likely to have lost almost everything and put a hole of €114million ($133million), according to Reuters, into Nasdaq’s contingency fund for derivatives trading in European energy markets.

In a written statement cited in the Norwegian paper Dagens Naeringsliv, the trader said:

“On Monday, September 10, there were extraordinary price changes in the Nordic and German power markets. My position was too large in relation to the liquidity of the market, [although] I had transferred over 350million [NOK] in cash to cover my positions over the last month. This was not sufficient to cover the loss and on Tuesday, I was put into administration on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.”

Aas was also barred from trading on Nasdaq. He told Montel, the European energy news service, that he now faces personal bankruptcy.

After he graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics in 1994, Aas worked a risk manager at the Norwegian compainies Interkraft and Agder Energi, before founding a separate energy company with three colleagues. He began trading through his own private investment company 13 years ago, and became one of the richest figures in Norway, the wealthiest in annual income terms in both 2014 and 2016. According to tax authority figures, his income in 2014 was 501million NOK ($61.10million),  833million NOK by 2016. Over 16 years, Aas contributed some 300m NOK  in taxes to his local region of Grimstad, Southern Norway.

Nasdaq, the main exchange in derivatives linked to the German and Nordic energy markets, has confirmed that the potential loss to its default fund is around 68% of its capital. While Nasdaq has covered €7million

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